Older people have been 'forced to retire'Around 100,000 older workers in the UK were forced to retire last year, leading two age charities to call for the scrapping of the default age of retirement to be at the top of the pre-election manifesto.

Age Concern and Help The Aged have announced they are challenging all of the major political parties to commit to removing the legislation which dictates at what age people have to leave employment.

The charities have also called for the basic state pension to be re-linked to earnings by 2012.

Findings from the group that 100,000 Britons aged over 65 were forced to retire in 2009 are four times higher than the number originally predicted when the law was introduced.

And the groups go on to claim the figures suggest that employers used forced retirement as a "cheap and easy alternative" to redundancies amid the recent recession.

Michelle Mitchell‚ Age Concern and Help the Aged charity director‚ said: "Our survey clearly shows the use of forced retirement has spiralled out of control‚ offering some employers a low-cost shortcut to shed jobs during the recession."

The Equality and Human Rights Commission recently called for Britons over the age of 65 to be allowed to continue working.